Aaron Forsythe, the VP of design at WotC, tweeted this out four days ago:
Over the past few years, Standard play has dried up in many stores. I have my own list of possible reasons, but I’d love to hear from you about your store community. Why has sanctioned Standard play declined relative to other formats in your store?
Having to ask is really actually kind of embarrassing… I don’t mean asking in general, but in this case. It should be pretty obvious why they have been driving people away from the format.
Caveat: I’m not going to go into how to play MtG competitively without spending much money. There’s an easy answer for that: Be good enough to be sponsored for the cards or have strong enough network to be able to loan cards. In both cases this can only happen after initial investment, unless you are very lucky with the latter one.
I’ve been trying to play some Brawl on Arena recently, but the format is just horrible. Than the format was also mentioned on Goldfish’s podcast and that reminded me that Gavin Verhey seems to have been the person behind the format. At least he was the one strongly advocating it publicly.